Whanganui's former White Fern Jessica Watkin has the opportunity to get herself back in the national selectors favour after being included in the New Zealand Development squad to play Australia Under 19 at Lincoln University next month.

Watkin made her New Zealand debut on the tour of Ireland and England in June last year, and was able to retain her place for November's ICC Women's Twenty20 World Cup in Guyana.

While she bowled well, taking five wickets for 62 runs off 11 overs in her three games at the tournament, Watkin had no top order success with the bat, twice being dismissed for a golden duck.

The 20-year-old was subsequently left out of the home series with India, so being in the 14-strong development squad could be her pathway back to the full side.


Cricket Australia made the offer to bring a squad to New Zealand, and it is hoped the Kiwis will make a return visit later this year.

As well as Watkin, fellow White Ferns Rosemary Mair, Lauren Down and Thamsyn Newton have been chosen, with the national selectors looking to foster young talent rather than pick a purely Under 19 squad.

Watkin is one of three Central Districts players alongside Mair and Georgia Atkinson, while there are four from Auckland, three from Wellington, two from Canterbury and one each from Otago and Northern Districts.

The team was chosen by White Ferns coach Haidee Tiffen and fellow national selectors Kirsty Bond and Emily Drumm.

Head coach of the development squad will be Matt Bell, assisted by Nick White and Kari Carswell.

"It's based on potential and trying to provide a succession plan for our future international teams," said NZ Development programme lead Ant Sharp.

"It's an opportunity for us to learn a bit about them and for them to learn more about training and playing.

"It's also about understanding the players' strengths so we can try and develop their game further and see how potentially they can fit into their roles at international level."


The squad will assemble in Lincoln on March 10, and will play three 50-over games with Australia Under 19 on March 12, 14 and 16, followed by a Twenty20 game on March 17.

The team is
Bella Armstrong (Auckland), Georgia Atkinson (Central Districts), Lauren Down (Auckland), Katie Gurrey (Northern Districts), Polly Inglis (Otago), Arlene Kelly (Auckland), Jess Kerr (Wellington), Rosemary Mair (Central Districts), Jess McFayden (Wellington), Thamsyn Newton (Wellington), Jacinta Savage (Canterbury), Saachi Shahri (Auckland), Jessica Simmons (Canterbury), Jessica Watkin (Central Districts).